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Friday, 20 March 2009

Nigeria: Power Failure - Finland President Tasks Yar'Adua

Ben Ukeji

Abuja — Visiting Finland President, Mrs. Halonen Tarja Kaairna yesterday expressed shock over the failure of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua to utilize the abundant sun in Nigeria to solve the nagging energy problem of the country.

Kaairna, who challenged Yar'Adua to immediately initiate a programme that would convert the bright sunshine into a source of energy to meet the power needs of the nation, said that Finland that has less sunshine has since embraced solar energy system for its energy needs. She spoke on Tuesday at a launch organised in her honour at the famous Jabi Lake, in Abuja , however, expresses delight over the warm reception accorded her and the entourage.

Kaairna, who is the 11th and first female president of the country, said she was in Nigeria to further strengthen the cordial relationship between her country and Nigeria, promising to get her country's business men involved in waste management in Abuja. "I am surprise what your government is doing with the bright sun you have. You can convert your abundant sun into power, my country has less sunshine yet we are making use of it as a source of energy," she said.

Earlier, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Adamu Aliero described as shameful the continuous use of fire wood for domestic purposes by the citizens in spite of the huge oil and gas deposit in the country.

Aliero who also said that Nigerian power problem dated back the 60s, expressed concern over the inability of the past governments to evolve measures towards solving it.

His words: "It is an irony to hear that Nigeria is still using fire wood to cook, we are an oil producing country, one expects that shouldn't happen under a normal circumstance, but lack of technology is making it difficult to use gas for cooking. Because of that, the FCT Administration has embarked on a deforestation programme were parks are given to individuals to develop. Also, we are planting one million trees this year as a way to controlling the deforestation."

The minister called on Finnish business community to come and invest in Abuja especially, in the areas of waste management and mass housing. He explained that the waste which is recycled in other countries for further use has, however, remained a waste product in FCT.

The visiting President who was accompanied by her husband earlier visited the Lower Usman Dam, and also attended the Women International Day Celebration at the Women Centre Abuja.

Causes of Africa's Poverty

When Will African leaders learn? It is a shame isn't it?Africans always haveto be told by the whatthey should do before they act. I feel terriblyashamedwhen I look at Nigeria. A nation with great potentials but her people are extremely poor.When will Africans learn to take good decisions without being told by the West todo it? All the technologies needed to make Africansrich exist toay butpoor leadership, corruptionandmismanagement are keepingAfricans atthe bottom ofthe worlddevelopment ladder.

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